The below is an incomplete list of various match races (intentional and unintentional) to occur at Aqueduct throughout the years.
1892: Lamplighter vs. Kingston (The Second Special)
“That the Special should have developed into a match race was not the fault of the managers of the track, but was due to the fact that the owners of the horses thought that they had no chance to defeat Kingston, who showed up so well in his last race and in his recent work that Mr. Dwyer considered him simply invincible at the distance. But the old horse had none of his old-time fire and speed, and he was beaten in the easiest possible fashion by the Lorillard horse, Lamplighter, who was full of running.” (The New York Times, 09/25/1892)
1893: Tammany vs. Sir Walter (The Second Special)
“After the withdrawal of Lampligher and three others, the only opponent left for Tammany was the 3-year-old Sir Walter. Tammany was favorite at 2 to 7, with Sir Walter quoted at 2 ½ to 1. An even start was effected on the first break. Sir Walter wanted to go out and make the pace, but Doggett would not let him. He took a strong pull on him and at one time fairly pulled him into the air. Garrison then slackened his hold on Tammany. The mighty chestnut at once shot into the lead. He set an easy pace with clear daylight between himself and Sir Walter until the turn for the home stretch was reached. Sir Walter then made his effort.
The cry of “Sir Walter wins” rang out. It was premature. Garrison had only taken a steady hold on Tammany as they rounded the turn. As soon as they were headed for home Garrison gave Tammany his head and the race was over. He gave the game little horse a sound beating of two lengths.” (Chicago Daily Tribune, 09/24/1893)
1894: Clifford vs. Henry of Navarre (The Second Special)
“A match race between Clifford and Henry of Navarre was the feature of the closing day’s racing at the Gravesend track yesterday. It was not intended to be a match race, and was not advertised as such, for the two met in the race for “The Second Special,” a rum of a mile and an eighth, for which fifteen other horses were eligible. In this lot were Domino, Ramapo, Dr. Rice, Yo Tambien, Sir Walter, Senator Grady, and Dobbins. For a variety of causes, injury to several of the horses, as in the cases of Ramapo and Dobbins; alleged lack of condition, as in the cases of Domino and Yo Tambien, and certainty of defeat with the rest, kept the field down to the two named.” (The New York Times, 09/23/1894)
1895: Clifford vs. Rey el Santa Anita (The Second Special)
“The large crowd was greatly disappointed in the afternoon’s sport. The two stake features, which promised to furnish sharp contests, were made devoid of all interest by the wholesale scratching indulged in. In the Speculation Stakes, of the eighteen colored on the card but four faced the flag, and the second special was reduced to a match race between Clifford and Rey el Santa Anta.
The Second Special, which followed, was nothing more than an exercising gallop for Clifford. Rey el Santa Anita was unable to make him extend himself during any part of the journey. He cut out the running, with his head in the air, and finished under a double wrap a length and a half in front.” (The New York Times, 09/29/1895)
1897: Ben Brush vs. Ornament (The Second Special)
“There was a big crowd at Gravesend to-day drawn by the Second Special, in which Ben Brush and Ornament were the only starters. There was some delay at the post and then the pair got away together. The pace was very slow at first, neither being inclined to set the pace. They ran about a length apart down past the stand for the first time, with Ben Brush in the lead. Around the lower turn both went wide, but they straightened out in the backstretch with Brush still in the lead, both going easily. Up to the upper turn there was no change in positions. As they rounded Ornament went, up alongside Brush, but in a few strides the latter shot away and straightening out for home had a couple of lengths the better of it. Then Simms took him in hand and Taral drew up on the middle rail with Ornament. Simms moved over to the rail to prevent this and urged the game Dwyer horse a bit, to which the response was speedy and Brush won easily by a couple of lengths. Taral claimed a foul, but it was not allowed.” (The Nashville American, 09/26/1897)